Many books on startups and business talk about how there are right and wrong reasons for starting a business. So, we asked a handful of successful founders about their reasons and the thought-process behind starting their business.

Ember Claire | Wedding Photographer

I had been doing photography as a hobby for about five years starting when I was a teenager. I was self-employed already, doing multiple “side hustles” to bring in what I needed. I saw a friend of mine start her photography business and watched it grow over a year. After that, I decided that maybe I could give it a try and see what happens. I love the work, so doing it wouldn’t feel much like work. It was worth a shot and so I dove in. I felt at peace with it and I felt like it was the path God was leading me on to. Read more>>

Victory Lyric | Host ArieVive Studios & Great Dane & Frenchie Breeder

I owned multiple bakeries and a restaurant about 12 years ago and I was invited to several morning television shows as a celebrity Guest chef. I had an absolute blast doing morning television, and the idea of creating a talkshow with various artisans and entrepreneurs that would inspire others to become all they are called and created to be just really became a seed for a dream that I started in January when I launched ArieVive Studios on The Daily Gospel Network and now also on Legind Plus Studios as well as podcast & YouTube and social media. Read more>>

Haley Jacobs | Medical Laboratory Scientist, Owner/Operator/Designer- Spurrin’ Scrubs

Hi everyone, my name is Haley, and I am a 26-year-old traveling Medical Laboratory Scientist and proud owner/operator/designer of Spurrin’ Scrubs- “Where Western fashion, meets function.” As a Medical Laboratory Scientist, I am licensed to work in Hematology, Coagulation, Chemistry, Urinalysis, Microbiology, Blood Bank and Transfusion Medicine, Immunology, Serology, Parasitology, and other miscellaneous testing areas. I am very thankful with my degree to be able to work in large or small laboratories- in both animal AND human testing. Read more>>

Janet Precourt | Multi-media artist

I’ve always loved art since I was a small child. I watched my Mom do all kinds of craft projects from sewing to pottery. She often let me join in. I took a couple of art classes in school and enjoyed learning new techniques in water color and charcoal art. As I became a young Mom, myself, out of necessity I had to decorate my babies’ rooms with paint and sewing projects, since money was a little tight. So, my art aspirations grew from there. I even taught a toll painting class in the 80’s and bought a scroll saw to cut my own wood. Read more>>

Evelina Cole | Western Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer

I was raised in a home where my parents ended up splitting ways when I was 18. I had a hardened look at love and what it meant. I was also raised in a Christian home and my faith is everything to me and is what got me through such a hard time. God sparked a light in me and presented the opportunity to go to The Rocky Mountain School of Photography in Missoula Montana, it was there that I learned so much and pushed myself out of my comfort zone, and pursued photography. Read more>>

Katelynn Summers | Cosmetologist & Entreprenuer

Most of my work life prior to starting my small business had consisted of me having multiple jobs at a time, constantly on my feet for up to 16 hours a day, 7 days a week. I was just trying to pay bills and stay busy making money. As you can imagine, it was nothing short of being mentally and physically exhausted all the time. Only a couple of months after graduating high school, I attended the Aveda Institute of Arts and Sciences in Dallas, TX for their Cosmetology program. Read more>>

Bettye Stalder | Wife, Mom, & Business Owner

I have wanted to own my own boutique for years, but when we started to have children my husband and I both decided it would be amazing for me to be a stay at home mom. We have two beautiful girls, and we were waiting for them to get a little older for me to pursue my dream of owning my own business when… surprise! We found out we were pregnant with our third, our baby boy. It was a hard decision at that point to decide if I was going to continue to be a stay at home mom for a few years with him, or continue with our plan of me opening the baby and children’s boutique. Read more>>

Keyana McNeill | Fiber Artist & Baker

At first, crocheting was something I couldn’t even get the hang of, but I was always determined to learn. When I finally got the hang of it, it was just a hobby, something fun to do since I had more free time. I started this journey during my last year of college, I finished my last year of band, and was preparing to graduate all in the same semester. My mother and her husband encouraged me to turn this into a business. Read more>>

Jada Peck | Model & Real Estate Agent

I started very early, working! My last two years of highschool, were online therefore I had extra time on my hands! I’ve always been the type of person to want to work and be as independent as possible ! After highschool, I went straight to working by choice . I can only speak to the present day when I say , “school has never been for me” . I’ve held multiple positions within food , retail ,telecommunications world . Some might even say I was able to see the best in both worlds, as I have worked for corporate America for 2 years. Read more>>

Vaishnavi Moturi | Founder of ODConnect

Amid the alarming growth in Fentanyl cases and the growth of a public health crisis in the form of the opioid epidemic, in my community and across the nation, I created ODConnect, a novel, robust, scalable software aiming to consolidate information regarding overdoses and alert authorities of an overdose in a timely manner. Read more>>

Kameron Caldwell | Wealth & Insurance Advisor

Starting Caldwell Wealth Management was rooted in a vision to empower individuals and families to achieve financial stability and prosperity. Recognizing the complexities of managing wealth and navigating financial markets, I wanted to create a platform where personalized guidance and expertise could flourish. Read more>>

Leya Allo | Graphic Designer & Easter bunny

So this all started in 2019 around October. My mom and I were driving to the grocery store and found a bunny costumes on the side of the road. It was in mint condition, still in the box! I told my mom to pull over so I could grab it. And she asked what are you going to do with that?? My immediate thought was that I could put the costume on during Easter time for my little cousins… But then COVID/quarantine messed that whole idea up! No one was having any easter celebrations. Read more>>

Ray Estrada | Owner of TekMax Technologies and Frontline AVS – Specializing in Audio Video/Automation/IT/Security

My father was a Graphic Designer and owned his own business. I grew up with that example and it seemed natural for me to do the same thing. I chose a different profession, Audio Video/Automation/IT/Security. I used to work for companies and I would dedicate myself to my work and excelled within my positions and would get promoted. The issue with working for someone else is that your hard work and dedication benefits the employer, with very little rewards going to the employee. Read more>>

Angela Harke | Hairstylist & entrepreneur

My thought process behind starting my own business was that I wanted to be solely independent. I wanted to be in charge of my hours and how much money I made. I knew that in the beauty industry, the best opportunity for me to do that would be self-employment. I built my clientele at a salon that provided me with a steady income until I had enough business to branch out on my own, which I did after 4 years in the industry. Read more>>

Nöelle Overturf | Abstract Artist

From the moment I could hold a pen, art has always been an outlet for me when time allowed. When my son was born in 2018 I found myself wanting to paint more and experiment with abstract work while I stayed home with him. I suddenly fell in love with the process of abstract. I am a classic over-thinker, rule follower, and (hardly perfect) perfectionist. Painting “outside the lines” allowed me to get messy, find my own way of doing things and make mistakes I knew weren’t going to be the end of the world. Read more>>

Olu Balogun | Educator

Starting a business was born out of a desire to make a difference in people’s lives. I identify a problem our society is facing and I develop a solution to that problem. Many people I encounter in my life have always have this question in their head . What is my purpose? This is a very important question to ask . I have developed a card game to help answer those questions and inspire people to have meaningful conversations which would change lives and impact the world. Read more>>

Khetsanah K | Esthetician

Growing up around many Asian Americans my answer was always a career in the medical field, but as I grew older I quickly learned that was not something I wanted to do. I wanted something that would be fulfilling and rewarding afterwards, which led me towards a career path in beauty. During my teenage years Youtube makeup gurus were a huge thing, I believe this inspired me the most. Watching influencers online making videos/post and making a difference in people’s lives. Read more>> 

Mere Pace | Baker & Advocate

I have always had a passion for working with people with disabilities. I have worked at an all special needs private school in Dallas for the last 13 years. I spent 5 years as a teacher, and the last 8 I have worked to create paid employment positions out in the community for students that are graduating from our school. I have also always loved to bake. So the more I thought about it, I figured why not add my two passions together? I started baking with my students in the school cafeteria after school was over in the afternoons. Read more>>

Funmi Shoyomi | Lawyer/Purpose Coach

Having gone through different seasons in life, and navigating different professional fields, while constantly searching and digging deep for my life’s purpose. I was able to conclude that there are other women and men who seem to be doing well but are thirsty for fulfillment in life. I solved my issue after years of trying multiple things, but know that with help, the journey could have been shorter. So, I decided to thread this path to help others, especially women, to figure out their purpose in life but much faster than I did, through coaching. Read more>>

Nico Nguyen and Karmen Lau

Our journey to starting our own business was fueled by a long-standing desire for independence and a yearning for more meaningful work. Prior to the starting Milkytreats, we found ourselves entrenched in traditional 9-5 jobs, but we knew deep down that this path was not aligned with our long-term aspirations. Our shared passion for entrepreneurship and the pursuit of something greater led us to embark on this venture. Read more>>

Jessica Paxton | Small Business Virtual Advisor | Niche Coach

I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. As a kid, I thought that meant I wanted to be an inventor, but I realized quickly that it wasn’t. To be fair, I also wanted to be a singer, an actress and all sorts of other things. Pretty typical of a 7 year old I suppose. Read more>>

William Mancera | Woodworker

Driven by a simple gift for my wife, my journey into woodworking evolved into a profound passion and love for the craft. What began as a heartfelt gesture transformed into a fulfilling pursuit as I delved into the artistry of woodworking. Each project became an expression of creativity, a testament to the intricate details and dedication woven into every piece. From crafting personalized items to exploring the nuances of different wood types, my love for woodworking has become an integral part of who I am, blending sentiment with skill in a symphony of sawdust and craftsmanship. Read more>>

Nick Merola | Hair Stylist

I wanted to have total freedom control when it came to creating hair. Often times, working under a salon owner you’ll have their visions and ideals projected onto you. I also feel time is wealth and I wanted control over my time. Read more>>

Vanessa Chinopoulou-McCoy | Co-founder of the Authentic Greek Fruit Spoon Sweets at

Having lived in Europe, Dubai, and the USA, my background in branding, marketing, and investor relations for multi-billion-dollar global companies has equipped me with invaluable skills. However, the desire to pursue my entrepreneurial dream persisted. The absence of Greek fruit spoon sweets – vegan, gluten-free, and preservative-free delicacies – in the market presented an enticing opportunity. Thus, the idea to introduce these authentic Greek delights emerged. Read more>>

Janet Marsh | Owner

I decided to retire from the Postal Service as soon as I became eligible. Having custody of my 3 grandchildren, who were all still in school, I needed to supplement my income, hence the birth of Snow Cone City. It was something fun I could do with my grandchildren, while creating a legacy to leave behind for them. Read more>>

Makala Washington | Political Candidate & Entrepreneur

I realized I wasn’t getting paid what I deserved, and I felt like I was stuck in a role that wasn’t going anywhere. Plus, I couldn’t get on board with how they treated customers—it was all about the numbers, not the people. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and become my own boss. It was the best way to show everyone that I could do it, even if they didn’t believe in me. Read more>>